Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 364283

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Having Your Pain Devalued

Posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 2:41:03

I won't put myself through added grief by rehashing the event that upset me this evening. Suffice it to say, someone completely devalued the painful events that have happened to me in the past. It felt like a slap in the face, and also made me feel as if my feelings are/were wrong and mistaken. Has anyone else ever had this happen? How did you deal with it?


Re: Having Your Pain Devalued

Posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 4:52:15

In reply to Having Your Pain Devalued, posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 2:41:03

Sometimes it helps me to see that they actually did mean well, even though I ended up getting hurt. Some people think that saying something like 'it wasn't that bad' will cheer you up, so they're intending to try to relieve your pain, but they don't know that those kind of statements can hurt. It also might help to clarify it with them, if you feel safe doing so. You could tell them how you felt when you heard what they said, and say what you took it to mean, like for example, you heard it as them saying your pain wasn't real, or didn't matter to them. Then they have a chance to clarify if that's what they really meant.

When I'm hurt enough I tend to not want to believe people, so sometimes I need to wait until I've calmed down a bit, or else I'll just blame them and won't believe their explanation anyway.

But it's really hard for me to tell someone I'm hurt, especially when I'm thinking they don't care. I'm like why should I make myself even more vulnerable after they've already hurt me? So if I don't think there's at least a chance of getting a good response, I won't bring it up with them. I'll just withdraw and avoid them. I'm trying to get better at taking such risks.


Re: Having Your Pain Devalued

Posted by gardenergirl on July 9, 2004, at 10:13:36

In reply to Re: Having Your Pain Devalued, posted by tabitha on July 9, 2004, at 4:52:15

I'm particularly sensitive, and often I am hurt by things that others have just roll off. It's the making mountains out of molehills thing. Others think that I *make* them into mountains, but from where I exist (think like a shrunken Alice), even if they are just molehills, they *are* mountains to me. And just because my perspective is different to me, doesn't make it any less valid.

Others just don't get that. They don't get how I can be hurt by the same thing that they have no problem with. It does make me angry, but I try to remind myself that they are in a different position and are not sensitive. I tell myself to feel sorry for them because they can't feel things as intensely and thus may miss out on simple beauty at times. :)

But it still stinks when confronted with it as if it were a character flaw on your part or when people think you are "crazy". I'm sorry it happened to you.




Re: Having Your Pain Devalued Elle2021

Posted by Dinah on July 9, 2004, at 11:48:38

In reply to Having Your Pain Devalued, posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 2:41:03

I'm sorry to say that I mainly deal with it by not sharing, or by devaluing what I say myself before anyone else can. But I don't recommend that.

I'm sorry it happened to you, but maybe you could see it as a flaw in the other person rather than a valid criticism of yourself?


Re: Having Your Pain Devalued Elle2021

Posted by daisym on July 9, 2004, at 13:33:59

In reply to Having Your Pain Devalued, posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 2:41:03

I agree with Tabitha. I think people minimize things to try to make you feel better. Or maybe they are making themselves feel better. I've recently had several of these experiences (see post above) and have decided to not share so much. But even in everyday things, people can be insensitive without meaning to.

The worst is when people engage in "one-up manship." Sort of like, "my pain is worse than your pain." I think I said it before, as a therapy client, we get use to empathy for our pain, we don't have to PROVE it is painful or prove the intensity of a situation. Our perceptions are valid and count. The outside world wants to tell us our perceptions are wrong, therefore our experiences shouldn't be painful.

*sigh* How to deal with it? I pull back and hide my hurt. Other people say, "that hurts my feelings." I've even known people to stop and ask, "why would you think telling me that would help me?" so make their point.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience. If something hurt you, it does matter and you deserve some sympathy and support. I hope you feel it here.


Thank you for the support my friends

Posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 13:47:44

In reply to Re: Having Your Pain Devalued Elle2021, posted by daisym on July 9, 2004, at 13:33:59

I guess what upset me the most about what this person said to me, was that they seemed to even deny that anything happened. As if my perception was way off and I had imagined the whole thing. WHICH I DID NOT. I know this person may be trying to find their own way to cope by denying things. Still, it does hurt.

Daisy: This person does the "one-up" type thing on everything. I can say I have a headache, and sure enough they have a headache that is just excruciating... Hmm.

Thanks to all of you for responding. I feel better now. I guess I was just really afraid that I might get the same reaction from my therapist (i.e. well that situation isn't that traumatic, why do you feel like that?).



Re: Having Your Pain Devalued..Dinah

Posted by antigua on July 9, 2004, at 17:16:13

In reply to Re: Having Your Pain Devalued Elle2021, posted by Dinah on July 9, 2004, at 11:48:38

That's exactly the way I handle it. If I don't tell anyone, they can't hurt me. I've been hurt by insensitve comments way too many times, and I've had Ts say, "you have to talk about it to other people in order to get better." Well, that's bull#$%#, at least for me. You probably have to talk about it with the right people (babblers, of course)but you always have to be on guard to protect yourself.

I don't think this is the best approach, either, but it is very self-protective, which is more important to me at this time.


Re: Having Your Pain Devalued

Posted by shadows721 on July 9, 2004, at 18:07:47

In reply to Having Your Pain Devalued, posted by Elle2021 on July 9, 2004, at 2:41:03

Honestly, yes, I have had this happen many times. Use to, I would go home and cry. Now, I tend to try and tell the other person how I feel about what they are doing. It's not easy. Sometimes, I shake a lot. This is foreign turf, but I am tending to be on a short fuse lately and not be able to put up with insensitivity.

Recently, I went off on a psychiatrist about his totally insensitive analytical questioning. I told him, "I am a human being and I don't feel like you are treating me like one." He said, he was just asking me questions for a history. I said, "You are asking more than what's necessary for a history." I walked away at first feeling like I lost it. But, I later realized that I wasn't going to take others totally insensitivity stuff anymore and I was glad that I told him what I did. I don't regret it now. Anyone with any mind knows that a person with Major Depression/PTSD/dissociation is not going to like 3 hours and 20 mins of constant questioning. I think his psych eval was unethical and abusive. Even my own psychiatrist agreed and stated that she thought that he was trying to do a criminal profile psych eval. I don't know, but it was awful.

This work comp experience has changed my view of doctors in this system. All of the work comp hired docs have treated me with disrespect and insensitivity. I am not going to take that from anyone, because I hurt my back trying to help a poor old guy get comfortable in bed. They keep looking at me so suspiciously and just write down every word I say, so it can be twisted for their atty. I told that doc that too.

I don't know if I answered your question, but I don't put up with insensitivity like I use to do. I use to suck down a lot of stuff. Now, it seems like my mind and body refuse to do that anymore. I feel like I need a mussel.

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